I know exactly how you’re feeling right now. You’ve got a to-do list longer than Santa’s “nice” list, the kid’s energy levels are rising by the minute, Amazon boxes are taking over your porch, and you wish for a second that someone could come help a sister out. Christmas cards, advent calendars, school performances, moving that dang elf to a new spot every night…and the holiday parties. Just a few of the things you’re juggling right now, right?
I’m joining forces with 17 incredible party girls this week for a Party Hop! You definitely don’t want to miss all of the ideas, tips, and tricks for holiday entertaining we have in store for you! Continue reading for my 5 Steps to a Stress-Free Holiday Party!
Take a breath. We’re here to help. We can’t help with everything on that list, but we can help with those stressful holiday parties!
Now, my 5 steps to follow this season to ensure you have a stress-free holiday party!
1. Have a Plan
Imagine someone came and took holiday party planning off your list. *Cue the angels singing*
I can help you do just that. I’ve already planned your parties for you with my 4 holiday themes that fit your needs this year. Your holiday parties are planned in just a few clicks. I planned the themes, decor, menus, invites, activities, and more. Everything you need to host a memorable and fun party, without any stress is ALL inside your holiday plan, waiting for you to bring the vision to life.
With just a few clicks, you can have items shipped to your front door, or for you DIYers, just follow links to the best instructions on the web, because I’ve done all the hunting for you to find the best prices and tutorials.
Going into any party with a clear plan of action is essential to saving time, stress, and money.
Boom, consider that checked off your list!
You can’t do it all. No one expects you to, and honestly, no one really wants you to!
Your guests want to know how they can help. Give them a job. And a specific job at that!
You’ve got your plan, now give them some details. Do you know you want to include a Christmas champagne cocktail, but just don’t have the time to run out and get the ingredients? Delegate! A friend or family member is just waiting to see how they can help.
I am someone that hosts a party often- at least once a month. In years past, I felt horrible asking for help. I felt like if I was the host, I needed to treat my guests and do it all. But, like anything in life, taking on too much has it’s limits and before I knew it, I had reached mine.
I needed help, and I asked, and guess what? My friends were thrilled. They had said they wanted to help, but I always did everything so they never knew what I needed. From that point on, I started delegating specific items to my people. No more, “bring something to eat!” I go as far as assigning people to drinks, desserts, appetizers, etc.
Delegate what you feel comfortable with, but I promise, your guests will thank you. Even if you just start small, like asking for ice, delegating is a game changer, trust me.
3. Repurpose Decor
One of the biggest pain points I hear from clients is that their house doesn’t look pretty enough to host a party. I don’t believe that to be true for anyone, but hosting holiday parties is the BEST because your house is already decorated! If you want to dabble into entertaining, or are looking for an excuse to have your friends over- the holidays are the perfect time.
Does anyone else feel like their house never looks better than it does during Christmas? The lights, the special decorations, the instant coziness when you walk in the door? It takes SO much pressure off of you!
If you are looking to shop for some new decor options this year for your parties, ask yourself if you are going to use the item you find in your home again next year. This is your time to stand strong in the magical aisles of Target. So often we grab things that fit our theme, but may not fit our home style.
Let’s change that.
Next time you are shopping for your party, stop and ask yourself, “Do I love this?” and “Will I use this in my home after my party?” If the answer is no to either of these- move along.
I was at Hobby Lobby last week and saw felt letter boards for an insane price. Naturally, I grabbed 2 colors. But, as I was navigating the aisles, I kept looking at them in my cart, racking my brain for where I’m going to put them once I’m done hosting. I had one large green letter board that would be perfect…but (gasp!) left the store without it. I knew I would never use it again after my party. The color green is nowhere in my home, outside of succulents, so it just wasn’t meant to come live with us. I had no way to repurpose, and I saved $25.99! Score.
Step 3 is kind of a two-parter because we need to talk about theme colors and decor.
When thinking about my theme, I tend to gravitate toward colors and patterns for holiday. The Merry Little Christmas Plan is all about the buffalo plaid and the red Christmas tree truck, or the Christmas and Cocktails Plan is red with sparkly metallics.
Choose 2 color inspirations and hold strong to them.
This makes decor, and shopping easier. It also saves you money because it forces you to pick a lane. Shopping in this focused way makes you ruthless, but saves you money, and when entertaining, that is so important.
4. Keep it Simple
When it comes to food, my rule is simple.
Provide no more than 3 things- and only one of them is homemade.
The other two are either storebought, or assembled but no cooking required (like chocolate truffles, a dip, a cocktail, etc.). Delegate the rest.
For my Christmas and Cocktails party this year, I am choosing to provide a Christmas sangria, a charcuterie board, and a dessert. The dessert will be my homemade item, the rest are both assembly only.
Following this guideline takes a ton of your shoulders, and it also forces you to delegate, which is SO important! This also frees you up to decorate and think about activities- like a gift exchange, rather than being stuck in the kitchen minutes before the party.
Of all the steps, this one has saved me the most time and stress. I may pay a little extra money to have things done for me, mainly with baked goods, but what I save in sanity is worth it to me!
5. Focus on Your Why
What is the reason for your holiday party? Why are you entertaining this year?
You are doing it to get your loved ones together, to celebrate the beautiful season, and to have fun.
That needs to be at the front of your mind, always.
You are creating memories for your guests. You are giving them a cherished experience. The decorations are beautiful, people will rave about them, and I know those compliments feel so good. The food and drinks are delicious, and your tables will look spectacular. But what your guests will remember are the laughs, the inside jokes, the time spent together.
For some reason, when I focus on this aspect of entertaining, it really takes the stress out of it. It centers me and makes me remember why I am hosting in the first place.
So this year, take a breath, have a plan, delegate, repurpose your decor, keep it simple, and focus on the fun. Your party will be a smashing success, you will feel relaxed and fulfilled, and everyone will go home just a bit merrier than they were before they came.